Recap: Mookie Betts Hits 2 Home Runs But Dodgers Lose Series Opener To Braves As Ronald Acuña Jr. Makes MLB History

The Los Angeles Dodgers were first to strike Thursday night but it was Ronald Acuña Jr. and the Atlanta Braves who hung on for an 8-7 win in the series opener despite Mookie Betts making his own MVP statement.

The Braves’ victory guaranteed they will have the best record in the National League regardless of how the next three games unfold and snapped the Dodgers’ winning streak at four.

Lance Lynn endured his worst start with the Dodgers, which came on the heals of a somewhat bumpy outing against the Boston Red Sox that manager Dave Roberts attributed to rust from extra rest.

Lynn immediately coughed up a 1-0 lead as the Braves loaded the bases in the second inning with one out. He walked Nicky Lopez, their No. 9 hitter, to bring in the tying run.

Acuña then put himself into the record books with a grand slam that also provided the Braves with a 5-1 lead. Acuña became the first player in MLB history with 30 home runs and 60 stolen bases in one season.

Austin Riley added onto Lynn’s season-long struggles with the home run ball by clobbering a solo shot before he could get through the second inning. Michael Harris II gave the Braves three home runs off Lynn with his blast in the fifth inning.

Lynn was chased with one out in the fifth and got bailed out by Alex Vesia stranding both inherited runners. The right-hander nevertheless allowed seven runs on seven hits. Perhaps more concerning, however, is Lynn has just five strikeouts over his last three starts.

Mookie Betts, in the running with Acuña for NL MVP, went the other way for a three-run homer in the fifth inning to inject some life into the Dodgers. Acuña came up empty on his attempt to rob Betts’ home run, as the ball hit off the top of the wall in right field before carrying into the pavilion.

The home run was Betts’ 250th of his career. It was one of the few blemishes for Spencer Strider, who had nine strikeouts over six innings.

He was nearly let down by the Braves bullpen as Michael Busch hit a home run in the seventh and Betts connected on his second of the night, which was another wall-scraper. That gave Betts a sixth multi-homer game this season and 29th of his career.

Max Muncy atoned for a throwing error that led to an unearned run in some regard with a solo homer in the bottom of the eighth. Though, had Muncy’s error not ultimately led to a run, his big swing would have tied the game rather than only pulling the Dodgers to within 8-7.

Muncy tied a Dodgers franchise record with an extra-base hit in nine consecutive games.

The Dodgers put the tying and winning runs on base in the bottom of the ninth as Freddie Freeman walked and Will Smith singled. Their comeback bid fell short as Muncy and Kiké Hernández were retired.

Dodgers settle for Los Angeles record

With their loss, the Dodgers closed out August by going 24-5. It’s their most wins during a month in Los Angeles franchise history but fell shy of tying the all-time Dodgers record.

That belongs to the 1947 (July) and 1953 (August) teams, which both had 25 wins in one calendar month.

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